The Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives (SCRI), under the auspices of SU Ag Center sponsored Northeast Elementary School 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) event on October 15. Youth in St. Landry Parish joined hundreds of thousands of youth across the world in leading the eighth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day experiment, which combined cars, calculators and cell phones to show how physics principles influence a pressing problem among U.S. teens. This year’s experiment was titled ‘Motion Commotion.’
The City of Opelousas Mayor Reggie Tatum and School Principal Mrs. Daphne Guillory were on hand to welcome participants, faculty and students to the event.
The Northeast Elementary School Science Teacher, Mr. Brandon Book revealed to the participants why science is important and the need for students to continue to embrace it.
About 157 students from Northeast Elementary School participated in the event. Students conducted the two-part ‘Motion Commotion’ experiment at the school’s court yard. They used every day materials – including a toy car, modeling clay, ruler, calculator and a cell phone – to explore physics in the real-world.
In the first phase of the experiment, youth constructed a simulated runway to analyze the speed, momentum and kinetic energy of a car in motion, and explored the science behind the car’s collisions. In the second phase, they led an experiment using the same physics principles to demonstrate the consequences of distracted driving.
“It is important for teens to learn basic concepts related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and how the subjects can be related to driving,” said William Augustine, Extension Associate and Science Day Event Organizer.
“Providing youth in rural areas with an interactive and engaging science experiment is always a joy; however, it’s imperative to also provide the students with a lesson they will need and utilize for a lifetime.” added Dr. Wanda Burke, Director, SCRI.
All teachers, students, 4-H leaders and guests were recognized at the conclusion of the event. Television coverage of the event aired on KATC 3, October 15, 2015.
4-H NYSD is the world’s largest, youth-led science experiment. The national day is dedicated to engaging kids with science through a hands-on, interactive learning experience that gets youth excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The event also spotlights the many ways youth in St. Landry Parish are engaging in 4-H Science programs year-round.
The 2015 activity was designed by Oregon State University Cooperative Extension in partnership with Vernier Software & Technology and selected as the winning experiment for the eighth annual 4-H NYSD. The event’s national sponsors are Hughes (HughesNet satellite Internet), Lockheed Martin and U.S. Cellular.